British Columbia

Streets of Merritt flooded after Nicola River bursts banks

A combination of rain and overflow from the river have led to an evacuation order for a seniors home in the area.

No homes are in danger so far, but residents are advised to keep sandbags in place

Merritt residents are being advised to keep sandbags in place until water levels recede completely. (Courtesy of Eleanor Ware)

A combination of rain and overflow from the Nicola River have caused several roads and properties to flood in Merritt, B.C.

City spokesperson Sheila Thiessen said the outflow from Nicola Lake is currently being managed by a dam that is releasing some excess water into the city.

"[That] has resulted in city streets currently having some flood water on them, and it's expected those areas will continue to be affected for the next week to 10 days," she said.

Thiessen said no homes are in danger so far, but some residents have experienced seepage into their basements.

"We have two rivers running through the City of Merritt and we're pretty resilient," she said. 

The Nicola Meadows Seniors facility was partially evacuated because of flooding in an adjacent area that cut off access to emergency service vehicles. Thirteen seniors have temporarily been relocated to Kelowna until road access is restored.

Residents are being advised to keep sandbags in place until water levels recede completely. 

Residents under evacuation order

East of Merritt, the Upper Nicola Indian Band issued a second evacuation order for seven homes due to rising water levels in Nicola Lake and the surrounding creeks.

Another 28 homes and four RV parks have been under evacuation alert since early May, affecting 102 residents.The band warns that water levels are expected to continue to rise. 

Meanwhile in the Okanagan, emergency officials have lifted evacuation alerts and orders for hundreds of properties in the Lake Country area.

However, Ellison Lake is still under an evacuation order, and officials say Okanagan Lake is only about 30 centimetres from widespread flooding.